UNESCO supports public service broadcasting in Afghanistan
Editorial guideline is a crucial tool for every public service broadcasting (PSB) entity to fulfil its core mission - to serve public’s interest. This is even more important in the context of a country in transition, such as Afghanistan, because PSB can play a significant role in making the country to move forward. This is was one of the highlights of a workshop on the preparation of an editorial guideline for broadcasters of Radio and Television Afghanistan (RTA). The event was organized by RTA, with support from UNESCO’s Tehran and Kabul Offices, on 26 September.
The workshop was designed taking into account RTA’s need to move forward in strengthening its role as the country’s public broadcaster. More than 20 RTA’s senior broadcasters, including members of its Board of Directors, attended the one-day event, facilitated by Zulkarimein Nasution, a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of Universitas Indonesia, who had been involved in formulating the editorial guideline for Indonesian public broadcasters.
In his presentation Mr Nasution shared his experience related to the preparation of an editorial guideline for Indonesian public broadcasters. He explained how Television of the Republic of Indonesia (TVRI) and Radio of the Republic of Indonesia (RRI) had successfully transformed themselves, shortly after the 1998 political reform, from state-owned broadcasters into independent entities with the core mandates to serve the public’s interests. Mr Nasution also reminded some key principles of programme making in the context of public service broadcasting, such as respect for truth, accuracy, balance and privacy, as well as reporting on sensitive issues and citizen journalism.
The Afghan Minister of Information and Culture, Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, made a statement reiterating the need for RTA to produce an editorial guideline that would make its programmes distinctive from the ones produced by other entities.
In his closing remarks the Director-General of RTA, Zarin Anzor, declared that his organization will undertake the necessary follow-ups based on the recommendation produced at the workshop, including the establishment of a small team of senior broadcasters, who will prepare a first draft of an editorial guideline.